Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Too much suffering, not enough hope..."

"Too much suffering, not enough hope…"

Manuel Valls got that right in his major policy address to the National Assembly on April 8. He didn't bother to add that his party is the cause of most of the suffering and that the vassal of the Socialist Party - the UMP - is the cause of the rest. And of course he couldn't bring himself to admit that the Front National offers what little hope there is for the country:

(…) Through their votes and the historic number of abstentions, the French expressed their disappointment, their doubts, their discontent and sometimes their anger. They expressed fear of the future, fear of too much taxation… and their thirst for justice. I heard them. They spoke against political impotence. And the President of the Republic has drawn political lessons from this very clear message.

(…) I want to render homage to Jean-Marc Ayrault. He acted with rectitude, a sense of the State. (…) In very different circumstances, sixty years ago, a man showed us the way, Pierre Mendès-France.

(…) I promise to tell the French people the truth. Reality is there, we must look at it without trembling."

Note: The innocent people you threw into jail have seen the reality you speak of, Manuel. Promising to tell the French people the truth is the daily pastime of French leaders. But the French have always believed the lie, until now. And even now, we aren't certain they fully appreciate the scale of the emergency.

However, Valls did concede the following without pointing to the underlying causes:

(...) Attacks on people have been continuously rising for thirty years, drug trafficking, increase in the number of burglaries… Finally there are all these uncivil insults that ruin people's lives. All of that has been affecting the morale of our fellow citizens, and not just for six months, but for years. That is the truth.

Note: Indeed it is. Valls has just condemned his own party's long-standing policies.

(…) A strong democracy has a respected Parliament. The Executive determines the aims, and the Parliament passes the laws. I know the expectations of the parliamentary majority, I share them. And I want to work with the majority on the foundations of a balanced contract. I want to work with the Radicals, the Socialists, and also the Ecologists. I have no adversary on the left, and we can make progress together in many areas.

(…) To govern is to listen to the ensemble of national representatives, hence the opposition. I will propose that the party chairmen of the UMP and UDI (centrist) meet with me next week.

(…) We must produce, we must create lasting jobs in France: this is the goal of the responsibility pact. To undertake, create, take risks, this is the positive measure that I encourage, it is good for our country. We will act to encourage enterprises, to improve the functioning of the labor market, to simplify procedures. Everyone must commit to employment: it is an initiative that will renew our country. This pact must materialize.

Note: The above excerpts are from Libération. The excerpts below are from an English-language site This French Life, that I was fortunate to find because translating economic information is difficult for me. (The speech was widely reported in the English-language press.)

(…) First of all, there’s the cost of labour. It must fall. That’s one of the levers of competitiveness: it’s not the only one, but it carries a lot of weight. The government of Jean-Marc Ayrault began the drive with the creation of the competitiveness and employment tax credit, which is due to reach €12 billion this year and €20 billion next year. We’ll take reductions in the cost of work to €30 billion by 2016.


I refuse to pit the effort for the least qualified jobs – which we need – against the effort for the qualified jobs which make us competitive, particularly in industry. The one addresses the urgent need to create jobs and the other the necessity of exporting. So we’ll do both.

Note: "Least qualified" refers to unskilled labor. These are the jobs most immigrants usually seek. However, more and more, due to affirmative action, they are demanding the more "qualified" jobs that theoretically should go to Frenchmen. This explosive topic was not addressed by Valls.

At the level of the minimum wage, employer contributions to URSSAF [Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d’Allocations Familiales – network of private organizations which collect social security contributions] will be ended on 1 January 2015. Zero taxes for employers on employees who are paid the minimum wage. That’s change! That’s a real revolution! The scale of existing reductions between the minimum wage and 1.6 times the minimum wage will consequently be modified. We’ll devote €4.5 billion to this.

Note: Social Security is the national health insurance. He's saying that companies will not have to pay into the fund for those employees who receive the minimum wage.

For salaries up to three and a half times the minimum wage, i.e. – let’s never forget this – more than 90% of employees, family allowance contributions will be reduced by 1.8 points on 1 January 2016. That is an additional reduction of nearly €4.5 billion. It will in no way penalize the financing of family policy, to which other predictable receipts will be allocated. Self-employed workers and traders, who represent a job creation reservoir, will benefit from a more than three-point reduction in their family allowance contributions from 2015 onwards – i.e. €1 billion.

Note: So companies with workers who earn up to three and a half times the minimum wage will not have to pay into the family allocation fund. Families themselves will not be penalized.

That’s the state’s effort. It’s equal to the challenge: €30 billion in reductions in the cost of labour, i.e. the equivalent of family allowance contributions. As the President announced on 14 January.

To increase investment, the government will also act through taxation. Firstly by reducing production taxes like the Contribution Sociale de Solidarité des Sociétés [tax on companies to fund social security], paid by 300,000 companies. It will be completely eliminated in three years. This represents some €6 billion in additional margins, €1 billion of it in 2015.

Regarding taxation on company profits, the surtax established under the previous government term will be eliminated in 2016, as expected. The normal rate of this tax will also be reduced to 28% in 2020, with an initial intermediate stage in 2017. Finally, to simplify our tax system, several dozen small, complex and low-yield taxes will be eliminated.

Note: Reducing the tax on profits is a reform - but it's put off until 2020!

Ladies and gentlemen deputies, the State has shouldered its responsibilities. It’s up to employers to honour their commitments. They were specified in the agreement reached between the employers and unions on 5 March. This agreement sets two major goals: job creation, particularly for young people and older people; and the quality of employment, the training of employees, apprenticeship and the improvement and recognition of qualifications.

Note: There is much more on the economy, but I would rather move on to a segment of the speech quoted at Le Salon Beige:

(…) France is also a country of liberty. The majority (i.e., the Socialists) proved that by opening marriage to same-sex couples. But I would like appeasement, and so would the President of the Republic. That too is the left! The left is faithful to itself and its values when it can address everyone and bring them together. In a country riddled with fractures and rumors, notably on this so-called gender theory, all republicans must learn to listen to one another, find common ground and avoid excesses that lead only to the victory of extremism.

Note: When accused of forcing "gender theory" in the public schools, the government had responded that it was a "rumor". In fact, gender theory is surreptitiously included in the general sex education package that schools are forced to teach. Note too that he says "all republicans", not "all Frenchmen".

(…) I'm thinking about penal code reform, the goal of which, I remind you, is to fight against repeat offenders. I'm thinking about the family, a subject we must continue to legislate on, solely in the interest of the child. I'm thinking about immigration and asylum policies: two bills that you will soon examine. I'm thinking also about end-of-life, on which a consensus can be found in the extension of the Leonetti law.

Note: The above law is similar to the instructions we all receive from our doctors and lawyers - write your "advance directive" and be sure your heirs (who have everything to gain from your death) know what to do! I am personally totally against this practice, though I had to comply with it in order to get a certain type of health insurance. The Leonetti law attempts to distinguish between "compassionate" palliative care and active attempts to continue to treat the patient. This is not possible to predict, nor is it possible to determine exactly when a person should be kept alive or "allowed to die". These questions have resulted in many Catholics being opposed to the Leonetti law.

LSB readers have a lot to say:

- Go on with your job of destroying the family… do you at least know what a family is, Monsieur Valls? You call yourself a Catholic… I think that you don't understand! And since we are spied upon, maybe you will read this, but your political schemes and your pride could not care less!

- When Valls speaks of appeasement that means: beginning now those who don't agree with me can shut their mouth!

- Will Mme Valls, Mme Taubira and their daughters be the first to bear children and put them up for sale, in order to set an example? It's such a step forward that the republicans should be the first to make use of it. Slavery is back in the French Republic: spread the word…

- Oh go back to Spain! France is seduced by these foreigners who hate us. We must seize power.

- He doesn't give a damn about us, our families, or the interest of the child. He doesn't give a damn about France. Monsieur Valls is an impostor, a crook, a coward, a thug, a cynic who only believes in his own little self! He should be stripped of French nationality!

Note: Valls is part Spanish, part Italian Swiss (Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti, Galfetti being his mother's maiden name), and thoroughly trained in the art of Socialism. Socialism is always the same, it has no nationality. A Socialist will feel at home in any Socialist country. In a 2007 article from Le Point Valls is described as a young ambitious mayor who wants to become the "Sarkozy of the left". Since Sarko was already a leftist in disguise, this was no Herculean task. We can be fairly sure that the end result will be the same - covered-up failure, punctuated by minor pseudo-successes that will be used to promote his chances in the 2017 presidential election. (Just speculating)

In a critique of the newly re-shuffled government, Catholic writer Guillaume de Thieulloy, having listed his concerns, turns to the potential for loss of freedom under Valls:

(…) Finally, my last concern is about Manuel Valls himself. I have not forgotten that he was one of the few locally elected Socialists to take into account the reality of the situation, to propose ending the 35-hour work week, to understand the problem of crime. But I cannot forget either his disastrous record as Interior Minister… And above all, I see that the only way he can obtain the support of the weakened Socialist majority in the National Assembly is to make pledges. Now, the only ones possible, without altering radically his image (a slow and dangerous undertaking, not worth risking), are those connected to public liberties - in particular the Internet, the bête noire of Socialists. There is every reason to believe that it will be against the honest people, and especially against our freedoms, that this "combative government" will act. Our freedoms have already shrunk, like a shagreen skin.

Note: The reference to shagreen skin is taken from the Balzac novel La Peau de Chagrin in which a piece of shagreen gradually shrinks, symbolizing the passage of time and the approach of death, like an hourglass. In other words, France does not have much time. Shagreen is a type of rawhide.

Below, the impassioned Prime Minister.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Barbarous gang rape in Évry

While I try to decide what is most important to write about, in a time of continuous and momentous headline news, here is a story of a crime that took place in Évry on March 31. It is not an isolated or random crime. On the contrary, thousands of young girls in France have been subjected to this kind of brutality, only to find the courts lax and indifferent to their cause. This time, possibly for the first time, it was a little bit different. From Valeurs Actuelles:

Some crimes have a wide-ranging impact. This is one of them, not by its atrocity, since our daily lives are full of it, but by its significance. It occurred on March 30, a little past midnight, in a park in Évry, the administrative center of Prime Minister Manuel Valls' district. (Note: Valls was mayor of Évry until 2012.) Since it took place the night before the second round of the municipal elections, it did not get the attention it deserved.

That night, an eighteen-year-old girl got off the regional rail at Évry station, and made a call on her cell phone. Four individuals jumped on her, and dragged her to a near-by park. They stripped her of everything, then they undressed her and raped her, taking turns. An indescribable rape of barbaric cruelty. The gang of four tortured her for more than two hours before leaving her, bleeding. A driver in a passing car took her and called for help. She had enough strength to file a complaint. The police went with her to the E.R. where she was given a three-month exemption from work. Now she is traumatized for life.

Thanks to her detailed description and the video surveillance images, the police arrested the four suspects in less than twenty-four hours, and their DNA confirmed their guilt. The questioning began on March 31 in the afternoon. The four rapists are minors: two of them are thirteen, one fifteen, and one seventeen. Three Turkish brothers, one Moroccan. Special facts: the eldest, seventeen, had been released six months earlier after serving two thirds of a two-year sentence for the rape of the son of a gendarme sub-officer. Released without surveillance. Now he is a repeat offender. Two of the others have already been arrested for armed robbery. Four criminals, three repeat offenders - all minors!

During the questioning, and from what we know about the investigation, the minors did not express the slightest remorse. On the contrary, they expressed their hatred: yes, they would not have touched the girl if she had been a Turk; yes, they attacked her because she was French and "the French are all sons of whores". The judge who jailed them indicted them for gang rape and barbarity, but also, and this is very rare, for racism.

These facts speak for themselves. We hope Madame Taubira has been made aware of them, because of their significance. The four young criminals feared nothing, not punishment or taboo. And yet their parents had settled in France, and they attend school. Where did this thirst for hatred come from, that led them to commit unspeakable acts on a young girl, barely older than they, a symbol of their host country? What will be blamed as the cause? Unemployment? Uncertainty? Inequality?

A young woman will suffer privately the rest of her life. And four thugs will also waste their young years in a prison - we cannot believe they won't be duly sentenced. But there is that reform to the criminal code instituted by Madame Taubira - it seems that the "icon of the left" made passing this reform one of the conditions for her staying on as Justice minister. A reform which, in its current form, aims to empty out the prisons of those criminals sentenced to five years or less, is indulgent with regard to minors, and is not dissuasive with regard to repeat offenders of all ages.

True punishment is inseparable from respect. But respect for the human person, for authority, for the laws of a country is but the result of a hierarchy of values taught from childhood. According to the latest report from the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, 68% of the French believe that foreigners "do not make any attempt to integrate". (…)

Note: We get from this that Taubira said she would stay on as minister of Justice only if she were allowed to pass a harmful and unjust law. The fact that Hollande (or Valls) agreed to her demand speaks volumes about their concept of right and wrong. In a sane society, she would have been fired from the ministry for attempting to pass such a reform. Since becoming minister she has emphasized her goal of emptying out the prisons on grounds that it doesn't do any good to keep them locked up! We also learn that she is nicknamed "icon of the left"!

Some reactions from Le Salon Beige readers:

- All my sympathy to the girl. How is it that the press and the TV news did not mention it? This act of barbarity says a lot about the state of mind of some people, the worst thing being their youth, which does not excuse them, on the contrary, it is an omen of the worst that will come if someone doesn't do something.

- Their place is not in France. The misinformation on the double penalty is a scandal. All patriots and Catholics who supported Sarkozy would do well to remember that it was he, and not François Hollande or Harlem Désir, or any other Socialist, who passed that law.

Note: He is speaking of the law on double penalty, which Sarkozy signed. The law forbids double punishment for a crime. A criminal who serves a sentence in France for a crime, cannot be deported back to his homeland once he is released. The deportation is regarded as a "second punishment." So these four rapists, having served their time, will be allowed to stay in France.

Also, Harlem Désir, head of the Socialist Party has just been named as Secretary of State on European Affairs, an appointment that has aroused anger from many quarters.

- With the arrival of Harlem Désir in the government, these four individuals can strut their stuff. Let's bet that they will quickly be released and the girl will be put in jail for "having provoked them."

Note: Several criminal trials (two of them in Avignon) have done what he says - the rapists were all excused on grounds that the rape was just a "right of passage" of youth, and the female victims were all "begging for it" anyway.

- Now, Catholics, do you get it? Stop being naive.

Note: LSB readers, who are mostly Catholic, are realists about Islam and don't hesitate to upbraid Catholics for their bleeding heart attitudes.

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Mayor of Fréjus

As a very eventful week in French political history comes to an end, we should take a closer look at those Front National candidates who will now be mayors, and who will be - you can be certain - subjected to microscopic scrutiny in every action they take and every word they utter. They will not be allowed to make a mistake, while the others, sycophants to the ruling elite, toe the line with regard to Islam, mosques, crime, immigration, education, etc… The Front National mayors will have an impossible task - to rescue a city from decades of decay and despair, without doing or saying anything that could be construed as fascistic, nazi, homophobic, xenophobic, genderphobic, Islamophobic, racist, anti-antiracist, and so on… They will, in fact not be allowed to say very much at all, and should they err, they will spend the rest of their days apologizing, lighting candles and begging for mercy.

On election night, in the city of Fréjus, on the Mediterranean, there were demonstrations against David Rachline (above), the 26-year-old newly elected mayor.

A short article dated March 30 from Novopress relates:

On one side insults and threats. On the other, champagne toasts with protection from the riot police. Fréjus is tense: its new mayor, David Rachline, 26, is of the Front National. The verdict at the polls was not in their favor, but so what? Hooded thugs and left-wingers crowded together in front of the campaign headquarters of the new mayor shouting "Nique le FN" (which of course means "F… the FN")

An update to the article:

Philippe Vardon, candidate in the municipal elections in Nice, was attacked last night (March 30) in Fréjus by a group of four individuals. He indicated that he was recognized as soon as he arrived and was attacked by "four thugs" carrying a jack and a knife, and that he sustained an injury to his hand. In a Facebook message he said:

(…) A group of four thugs recognized me in the parking lot. The attack was immediate, with a few blows (a tire jack is solid, but so is my neck), and especially a stab wound to my hand. It wasn't my first scar, and I say to all these little hoodlums and their like, that I will not back off.

Below, a quick look at the mêlée:

Le Figaro also reported on the violence in Fréjus:

Elected in the second round with 45.55% of the vote, it seems that David Rachline, 26, is causing concern to some of the residents of Fréjus. The new mayor had to wait before addressing the press and called on the authorities to restore order to the Front National headquarters, where angry crowds had gathered.

David Rachline believes that the trouble was caused by people "who do not live in Fréjus", but he pointed the finger nonetheless at the local Socialist party. "Elsa di Meo (the Socialist candidate) bears much of the responsibility for this disruption; she never stopped trying to scare the people of Fréjus," the new mayor said, announcing that he will file a suit. "Nobody should feel that he will be left by the wayside," he promised.

Questioned on television, Marine Le Pen's young lieutenant sought to pacify. "The people of Fréjus will be treated with perfect equity, whatever their origin, their religion, their political party, their social condition."

Associations such as SOS Racism, announced after the first round, that they would be forming vigilance committees to watch the FN cities. Rachline remained calm: "That diverse opposition groups react to our policies, and, why not, advise us in a constructive way, would be very interesting. It is no problem at all for us, on the contrary."

Note: David Rachline is very young to be a mayor, and his biography reveals a mixture of dedication to the Front National and confused feelings about his own origins and identity. From Wikipedia:

Born December 2, 1987, in Saint-Raphael, David Rachline is the son of Serge Rachline, whose grandparents, Jews from the Ukraine, came to France during the last century. A member of the Front National since he was fifteen, he dropped out of school at eighteen to devote his time to the party. After proving his mettle in the FNJ (Front National Youth Movement), in the department of le Var, he actively participated in the last presidential campaign of Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2007. One year later, he became head of the FNJ, and then Marine Le Pen's Internet adviser.

In 2008 he was elected municipal councilor of Fréjus. Two years later he became regional councilor of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, elected on Jean-Marie Le Pen's ticket.

But Rue 89, in an article dating from September 2011, shows him to be hesitant on the question of his Jewish background, and defensive about his relations with Alain Soral (the "antisionist" philosopher and friend of Dieudonné):

David Rachline explains that he is not Jewish "according to the code": his mother is not Jewish. But his father Serge was a non-practicing Jew and a Socialist. He was sixteen when his father died. As a child he was not raised in the religion - no circumcision, no bar mitzvah. "We didn't talk about it. My parents wanted me to choose when I grew up. I think it's good to allow the choice: there should be no inherited religion."

Note: His modernity is showing. Religion is always passed on. Of course, you can convert (unless you are a Muslim). But religion is meant to be passed on. The fault here lies with the atheism of the family. Naturally he doesn't feel Jewish, in those circumstances.

Since the death of his father, David Rachline has tried to "get away from all that". He knows that his family comes from Ukraine, and that's all (or all that he is willing to say). He doesn't know if his paternal grand-parents were deported: "It's possible."

On the topic of Alain Soral he says:

"What I liked especially about Soral was his criticism of liberalism (economic sense). And you can be against the international policies of Israel without being antisemitic."

Note: True, but you cannot be against the existence of the State of Israel without being antisemitic. Anymore than you can be against the existence of France without being anti-French. Soral is certainly antisemitic, and an ally of Iran, but he seems to have an appeal for many of those with ambiguous feelings about Israel.

David Rachline claims to have no problem with the FN. He is considered an activist like the others:

"I cannot stand it when people call Arabs "melons" and Jews "youpins". If that were the case in the FN, I would leave.

Finally, David Rachline adds that if he were to choose a religion today, he would lean toward Catholicism which is "close to his identitarian conscience."

Note: Which means, I presume, that he identifies so closely with France, that he would become Catholic.

There's more about David Rachline in another article from Le Figaro:

David Rachline did not like an article about himself in l'Express. As a result, the newly elected mayor banned journalist Nicolas Barriquand from his first press conference.

"Do you work for l'Express? You're out. Good-bye," Barriquand was told. "I have orders not to let you in," insisted a man in charge of filtering those who attended the press conference.

Note: What did the article in l'Express say that was so incriminating? It revealed the contents of a book published six years earlier.

In 2008, a book was published entitled Jeunes Nationalistes d'aujourd'hui (Young Nationalists of today) featuring interviews with seven activists from the "extreme-right" including then 20-year-old David Rachline. In the interview he expressed his support for a baby bonus, that he considered the "indispensable condition of a family policy worthy of this name."

This measure, implemented in 1998 in the city of Vitrolles that was governed at the time by Catherine and Bruno Mégret, provided five thousand francs (roughly one thousand dollars) to families where at least one parent was French or a European. The court in Marseille found the application of the principle of "national preference" to be illegal. Mayor Catherine Mégret was convicted of "discrimination and inciting to discriminate" by the criminal court of Aix-en-Provence.

Reminder: Bruno Mégret left the Front National to form his own party in 1998. He and his wife had been accused of trying to impose the ideology of the extreme-right in Vitrolles.

David Rachline explains in the book:

"I was scandalized by the political, legal and financial persecutions, and this led me to become interested in militant political action and to join the Front National."

In short, there was nothing incriminating in the Express article or in the book itself, but Rachline apparently feared it looked bad and in anger banned the journalist.

For her part Marine Le Pen is insisting that the new FN mayors "will not turn their cities into ideological laboratories."

How they will be able to govern without an ideology remains to be seen.

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Anti-Hollande demonstrations during visit of Chinese president

Some readers may find this video of interest. While it isn't the most dramatic of demonstrations, it shows a small turnout of determined anti-Hollande activists fighting verbally with the gendarmes on the occasion of the visit of the Chinese president on March 27, three days before the second round of the elections. One woman with a bicycle scuffles with the police, the small crowd hisses and boos when Hollande's car passes, a young man explains that he is there because of the indifference of Hollande to the demands and needs of the people. We also see some very young persons poking their faces into the camera, but it's all innocent. In keeping with the high production values of Line Press, the video images are strikingly beautiful and clear. A translation would be superfluous, but you will hear the chant "Hollande démission" (Hollande, resign) throughout.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Madame Valls

If you're in the mood for some idle gossip, here is a bit of information about Manuel Valls' wife, Anne Gravoin, taken from

Gravoin, a classical violinist, reminds me very much of Nicolas Sarkozy's second wife Cécilia, also musical, also of Jewish origin, also very much a fashion plate even if you did not like her style:

Today at 48, Anne Gravoin is still dedicated to music. Her father was already a violinist before she went to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. In Paris she met Manuel Valls, a history major. But her career took hold. A prodigy, she left to tour the world, while he devoted himself to politics. Despite her classical training she did not hesitate to collaborate with popular and rock artists such as Laurent Voulzy and Marc Lavoine, and even Johnny Hallyday.

While she led her own life, Manuel Valls married Nathalie Soulié and had four children. Anne Gravoin became an exceptional violinist and had a daughter Juliette in 1992. The two met again in 2004 and married on July 1, 2010 in Évry, the city where Manuel Valls had been mayor for eleven years. Their friends say that they "fuse" together. Gravoin is delighted that their separate over-loaded schedules allow them to reunite each time with passion. The new Prime Minister has himself said that he is a man "in love".

Can this love be harmful? Anne Gravoin has on several occasions been accused of using his position as Interior minister to get favors. Presumably she had a friend's traffic ticket torn up, and she had gypsies who were squatting in her neighborhood near the Bastille removed. Manuel Valls has strongly denied the accusations. A writer who knows them well, Tristan Duval, describes her as ambitious, always having pushed Manuel Valls in line with her own ambitions, including his appointment as Prime Minister.

With friends in both the cultural and political milieux, Anne Gravoin is close to Valérie Trierweiler. A woman of the world? Anne Gravoin certainly is, even to the point of making a few mistakes, as when, speaking of Brigitte Ayrault, the wife of the former Prime Minister, she declared: "A musician is a little more glamorous than Mme Ayrault, a teacher of German in the suburbs of Nantes." (Actually, Mme Ayrault teaches French.)

Glamor. Beauty. Carefully groomed for her official appearances, Anne Gravoin sets the tone Like Valérie Trierweiler, she knows how to be discretely chic. She has never hidden her desire to "install her bed in Elysée Palace"! Meanwhile, at Matignon (the residence of the Prime Minister), where she will reside, Anne Gravoin is going to reenforce the sexy image of her husband. In a recent poll he was voted the politician most desired by women! After changing his look, and getting rid of his old-fashioned shirts and ties, will she succeed in dressing him in the suit of the President of the Republic?

Note: They all seem similar. Cecilia Sarkozy, Carla Bruni, Ségolène Royal, Valérie Trierweiler, Julie Gayet, and now Anne Gravoin. Hugely ambitious (Cecilia less so), totally dependent on the man in their life for their own celebrity status, vaguely immoral, "cool" fashionistas, very leftist, antagonistic toward the traditional woman be she Madame De Gaulle, Marine Le Pen or Madame Ayrault, they ply the trade of social climber/courtesan with cold-blooded determination. Unfortunately, I don't find them interesting. 

Furthermore, if you are a great violinist, isn't that enough? Do you have to sleep in Elysée Palace too?

But whatever Madame is, there was no justification for the antisemitic comments to the article. The most disparaging thing I can say is that Jewish women are not different from the others. As indicated above, they all are cut from the same cloth, or so it appears. All candidates for "People" magazine. The men who choose these women have been ambitious, of vacillating principles and ultimately not successful.

Above and below, examples of her style.

Those interested can click here for BFM's slide show on Manuel Valls. In nineteen photos follow his career from a young student, to an apprentice Socialist learning the trade from Michel Rocard and Lionel Jospin. Photo #10 shows him with his wife and Bernard-Henri Lévy. One of the photos is of Dieudonné.

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"A drunken boat" (with Taubira on board)

Below, the ministries with their new heads. Several ministers are being retained.

- Foreign Affairs: Laurent Fabius
- Education and Research: Benoît Hamon
- Justice: Christiane Taubira
- Finances: Michel Sapin
- Economy: Arnaud Montebourg
- Social Affairs and Health: Marisol Touraine
- Ecology and Energy: Ségolène Royal
- Interior: Bernard Cazeneuve
- Overseas Departments: George Pau-Langevin
- Defense: Jean-Yves Le Drian
- Culture: Aurélie Filippeti
- Labor and Employment: François Rebsamen
- Women's rights, youth and sports: Najat Vallaud-Belkacem
- Decentralization: Marylise Lebranchu
- Housing: Sylvia Pinel
- Agriculture and government spokesman: Stéphane Le Foll

Note that Laurent Fabius, Christiane Taubira, Marisol Touraine, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Aurélie Filippeti, and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem have been retained.

The Manif Pour Tous, that was hoping for Taubira's departure, now has plans to demonstrate in front of the ministry on place Vendôme.

Note that François Hollande's ex-partner and the mother of his children, Ségolène Royal, is now in the government.

The press reported that François Rebsamen was Hollande's choice for Prime Minister, but Valls won the position, while Rebsamen had to settle for Labor.

The Green Party has refused to participate in the government of Manuel Valls, a decision that has been criticized by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, leader in the European Parliament of the Green coalition.

These changes will mean absolutely nothing, although I won't miss Vincent Peillon as minister of Education. Here are a few tweets posted at Le Figaro:

Guillaume Peltier of the UMP - When you love your country you want the government to succeed, but I have the impression that they are keeping the same ones and starting the same thing all over…

Michèle Alliot-Marie (former minister under Sarkozy) - Woe to the French who wanted a new play, they got only a paltry new cast of players…

Note: She has no room to talk. She was one of the ministers Sarkozy moved around from one ministry to another over a period of almost five years.

Nadine Morano (former minister under Sarkozy) - Taubira who remains Justice Minister is proof that Valls will not have his hands free…

Nadine Morano: The new government resembles the politburo of the Socialist Party.

Jean-François Copé chairman of the UMP party describes the new government as a "drunken boat", the title of a famous poem by Rimbaud. He also expresses his concern over the continuing presence of Christiane Taubira after "two calamitous years…"

Frédéric Nihous (an independent) - Valls and Taubira: it will be the infernal ministerial couple!!! Maybe he didn't know and he will find out through the press?…

Frédéric Nihous quotes Valls: "You can, dear Jean-Marc Ayrault, be proud of your accomplishment." Changing the men, and continuing the same policies!

Florian Philippot of the Front National: A Valls government: you don't change a team that is losing!

Below, Valls and Taubira earlier this year.

From Marine Le Pen comes this communiqué:

Valls first government, partly unveiled today, has nothing new in comparison to what preceded: the same faces, the same politics, therefore the same failures. The only newcomers are personalities that have already been part of the Socialist system for a very long time, Ségolène Royal and François Rebsamen. This is anything but a renewal of persons and ideas!

Note: While the ministers have been announced, the vice-ministers, or secretaries of State as they are called, will be announced next week.

Let us also note the division of roles in the Finance Ministry: Michel Sapin will be in charge of applying ultra-liberal and anti-industrial dogmas dictated by the EU to the Socialist Party and the UMP, while Arnaud Montebourg, using communication skills and deceitful language, will be in charge of making us believe there is an industrial volontairism at the highest level of the State.

Finally, it is deplorable to see Christiane Taubira back in the Justice Ministry, despite her profound failures, her lies and her militant actions against the territorial unity of our Republic.

This umpteenth technical government under orders from the European Union is doomed to failure. Let us not waste our time with these cosmetic political changes. Let us quickly give a voice to the people, so that they may take their destiny in their own hands.

At top, the changing of the guard. Valls takes over from Ayrault.

Below, a map showing most of the cities now governed by the Front National:

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Manuel Valls appointed Prime Minister

I cannot post right now. I'll have more later today if possible.

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Updates in red have been added to my previous post.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

A tidal wave for the UMP, disaster for the Socialists, many gains for the FN

As I post, it was a tidal wave for the UMP, and a great loss for the Socialists. But the UMP is hardly any better. Le Figaro is the source for most of the following information.

The Front National has won at least six cities. Unfortunately, Perpignan and Forbach are not among them. In the former, Louis Aliot, general secretary of the Front National lost to the UMP, and in the latter Florian Philippot, vice-president of the FN, lost to the Socialists. And deputy Gilbert Collard, who had worked so hard to win this mayoral, lost in the city of Saint-Gilles.

Update: The FN won about ten cities.

In my previous post I described the situation in Avignon. Because the UMP and the FN could not unite, the Socialist Cécile Helle won, thanks to a coalition of the left.

However, there are several notable FN victories (This section is in blue. All updates are in red.):

Robert Ménard has been elected mayor of Béziers. Ménard was the founder of Reporters without Borders. At one time a leftist, he later joined the Front National and now has won 47% of the votes to become mayor. According to Le Salon Beige the gendarmes came out in great numbers for him. 

Update: The above information is not entirely accurate. Ménard is not a member of the Front National, but he was supported by the FN. When he won he reiterated to the press that he was not a member of the FN, thereby demonstrating that he does not want to be associated with the party other than as a sympathizer. As for the gendarmes, they came out to protect his headquarters, not necessarily to vote for him. I had misunderstood Le Salon Beige's remark.

David Rachline of the Front National won in the Mediterranean city of Fréjus over two opponents in a three-way race.

Franck Briffaut of the FN is now mayor of Villiers-Cotterets, another three-way race.

The FN has won in Hayange (department of Moselle).

Update: The winner's name, in Hayange, is Fabien Engelmann.

Jacques Bompard's wife, Marie-Claude, has won in Bollène.

Joris Hébrard of the FN in Le Pontet (near Avignon) has won (results not final).

Update: The results are now final.

Philippe de Beauregard of the Ligue du Sud (League of the South, the party founded by Jacques Bompard) has won.

Philippe de la Grange of the FN won by twenty votes in Le Luc.

Marc-Etienne Lansade of the FN has won the town of Cogolin.

Julien Sanchez of the FN has been elected mayor of Beaucaire.

Florian Philippot, despite his loss, expressed his pleasure:

"The FN has done better than ever in its history in a local election."

Note: Le Figaro is updating constantly. As I post, the following are among the cities that moved to the right (UMP, that is):

Saint-Étienne, Angers, Reims, Quimper, Tourcoing, Limoges, Nevers, Dunkerque, Belfort, Angoulême, Périgueux, Amiens, Laval, Valence, Tours, La Roche-sur-Yon, Toulouse (note that Pierre Cohen, who was mayor during the terrorist attack, has lost), Caen (where the UMP won against a coalition of five other parties!), Nevers (for the first time in 43 years, the city moves to the right, but only slightly, since the right united with a coalition of the left to defeat the Socialist!), Carcassonne, Montbéliard, Ajaccio, Saint-Dié...

Below, UMP Jean-Luc Moudenc, winner in Toulouse. But does it matter?

Marine Le Pen declared:

"We have clearly reached a new stage. Today the Front National has upset the traditional duo of the UMP-PS: you now have to reckon with a third major political force in our country. And now, the first thing the government must do is to abolish the 'Responsibility Pact'".

Hollande's "Responsibility Pact" was announced late in 2013. It aims to reduce labor charges for companies in exchange for which they would hire more employees. According to Reuters, in an article from December:

"It is based on a simple principle: lower labour charges and fewer restrictions on their activity in return for more hires and more dialogue with trade unions," Hollande said in a New Year's address broadcast on national television.

Hollande did not specify how he would go about reducing labour charges but it is a possibility that has been mooted under a wide-ranging reform of taxes already promised by his Socialist government for implementation during the remainder of his mandate through to 2017.

French corporate margins are among the lowest in Europe, partly due to the high labour charges needed to fund its generous welfare state.

Unemployment is stuck at around 11 percent, although Hollande - whose popularity ratings are at an all-time low for a president of France's 55-year-old Fifth Republic - argues it has now hit a peak and is set on a downward curve.

"Of course the results are taking a while to appear, but they are there ... I tell you again tonight: I have one priority, one goal, one commitment, and that is employment."

Note: Hollande's plan may not sound bad to us, but in France to grant any benefit to businesses is to ask for trouble. This is a reminder that no one, not the Socialists, not the UMP, can extricate the country from the stranglehold of socialism. One wonders what the Front National will do in the cities where it now rules. When it comes to the economy, the French would rather sink in socialism than give up one iota of benefits. But so many benefits go to the immigrants, creating an excessive burden that could be alleviated if the country were ethnically French. The latest statistics on new-borns indicate that 34% are either black or North African. This means that France has about two decades to survive as a French country, unless the leaders stop immigration and initiate a re-migration back to the homeland. Otherwise in any election, it will be mathematically impossible for anybody but the left to win.

That said, we must remember that life is full of the unexpected.

The Communists maintain their long-standing hold over Stains in Seine-Saint-Denis, where Azzédine Taïbi won with 50.33%. Likewise the Communists won in Saint-Denis, the only city of more than 100,000 inhabitants that they still rule.

Socialist Anne Hidalgo beat Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (NKM) to become mayor of Paris.

The city of Nantes, where Prime Minister Ayrault was mayor until May 2012, stays in the hands of the Socialists.

Jean-Marc Ayrault declared:

"The voting in the municipal elections is a defeat for the government and its majority. It is a clear message that must be fully heeded. I take my share of the responsibility. The president of the Republic will draw lessons from this election. I think we did not sufficiently explain that the measures for recovery undertaken since 2012 were essential for our country. The situation of our public finances, our enterprises and notably our industries, was particularly degraded and demanded a great effort lest France be dictated to by the financial markets."

Crime, fear, bad schools, open borders, Islamization, anti-Christian propaganda, Brussels domination, social benefits for all immigrants, instant amnesty for most immigrants, unethical ratification of abnormal sexual practices, marketing of unborn children, unemployment, a feeling of abandonment, etc… Will François Hollande draw from this election the real lesson? Or will he continue to offer useless measures to jump-start a recovery that will never take place because the Socialists refuse to admit what their real agenda is.

Below, Jean-Marc Ayrault, who may soon be replaced. Hollande is about to make major changes in his government, a normal procedure following an election, but will it make any difference?

Forty-six cities of more than 30,000 inhabitants moved from left to right.

Alain Juppé of the UMP was reelected mayor of Bordeaux last week. He insists there is no "Blue Marine Wave", referring to the numerous victories of the Front National. It is true that the victories were mostly in smaller cities and towns. But as always, any victory for the FN is important. At any rate, Juppé is no friend of the Front National.

Below, FN general secretary Steeve Briois, elected mayor of Hénin-Beaumont last week, is officially installed.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fears in Avignon

Every July there is a festival of the Arts in the historic city of Avignon. In the past, this festival has known great moments and classic performances, enthusiastic popular approval, ever-expanding repertory, and a vital creative output thanks to its founders and participants, born and bred in a France that was then the cultural center of Europe. In recent years, with the decline in the quality of artistic output and the emergence of low-level, multi-culti, post-Western tastes and standards, the festival has fallen on hard cultural times, at least for anyone who has a preference for the better efforts of civilized man. Yet it continues to enjoy financial success (23 million euros flow into the city) and to maintain a certain aura for both tourists and locals and for the world press in general, while it provides music, opera and dance, in addition to theater.

The Festival became extremely popular with the people because it provided the highest possible artistic quality at low rates, in accordance with the post-war ideal of bringing culture to the masses. (It must be noted that the post-war "masses" had more elevated cultural aspirations than today's over-educated ignoramuses.) Over the years it has expanded its performing space to include venues all over the city, not just in the Palais de Papes (Palace of the Popes), its original center.

This year the director of the festival, a man named Olivier Py (above), is threatening to move the festival elsewhere if the Front National candidate Philippe Lottiaux wins City Hall. The artists are naturally very upset. In an article from Le Figaro, Lottiaux responds to their concerns:

"To announce the move of the Festival d'Avignon is ridiculous. First, Mr. Py is the appointed director and salaried employee of the Festival, he is not the owner of the Festival. Second, this festival has been in existence since 1947 and will continue to exist without him if he so chooses." Philippe Lottiaux, the FN candidate in Avignon, did not appreciate the words of Olivier Py announcing his "possible resignation" in the event of an FN victory. According to Olivier Py, Avignon is "the polar opposite of the spirit of the Front National." He had confided that he intended to lead the 2014 festival "just to bug them."

In response, Lottiaux believes that it is a "shame to misuse this festival" and insists that the FN "will continue to support the festival without making any changes," in the event of a victory.

Note: Lottiaux received 29.63% of the votes. Socialist Cécile Helle received 29.54%. The UMP candidate Bernard Chaussegros received 20.90% and the left-wing Front de gauche candidate André Castelli 12.46%. The left-wing parties have united against the FN (photo below). No way that Chaussegros will unite with Lottiaux. So, it will be a three-way race.

One leftist politician from Avignon said:

"If a city like Avignon had at its head a mayor of the extreme-right I believe it would cause the Palace of the Popes to quake!"

Philippe Lottiaux continues:

"They always try to scare you, but this image of the anti-culture Front National is completely outdated. In Avignon, politics absolutely must draw on culture, be it our heritage, live performances, opera, the great orchestra of the city, the museums." According to Lottiaux, Avignon could host a "great cross-current of events, bringing together all the cultural resources but also libraries and schools." At 47, the candidate who claims to have "twenty years of public service behind him", promises to develop a system of private donors in the city.

Note: Lottiaux only recently became a member of the Front National, thanks to the efforts of Marion Maréchal Le Pen. He worked for a while in the Paris City Hall when Jacques Chirac was mayor.

Karim Ouchikh, Marine Le Pen's counselor on culture and Francophonie, admits he expects a "cultural Front Républicain with its usual string of imprecations".

Reminder: A "Front Républicain" is an alliance of parties whose only goal is to stop the FN.

He adds:

"People have a very inaccurate idea about the Front National's views on culture. The party has an extremely wide and protective concept because it regards culture as a part of our common wealth. It must be preserved and enhanced everywhere." To the artists Karim Ouchikh said: "Don't be afraid! Listen to Marine Le Pen. You will see that she is never critical of those groups who participate in the propagation of our culture. In the FN, we have no desire to harm them or the benefits they receive."

Note: The presence of Karim Ouchikh as cultural adviser to Marine Le Pen is worth a separate post. Born in France of Kabyle origin, Ouchikh left the Socialist party to pursue conservative and traditionalist policies. He claims to be pro-Christianity and laments the loss of faith on the part of the French. He also claims to be a royalist who supports the preservation of the cathedral of Saint-Denis where the Kings of France are buried. He regards France as a totality, consisting of the Monarchy, the Revolution and the Republic, unlike the Socialists who take the Revolution as the beginning of the country.

In the short video below (with ads), Marine Le Pen reiterates the words of Philippe Lottiaux, saying that "if Olivier Py isn't happy he can leave. He will be replaced by someone else and the festival will go on without him. The festival does not belong to him but to all the French."

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